Steps Financial Advisors Can Take to Enhance Client Care and Build Strong Relationships
No matter the industry you work in, delivering excellent customer service is essential if you want your business to find lasting success. This is certainly true in the financial advice industry, where advisors face a lot of competition. For financial advisors, gaining a client’s trust and earning their satisfaction becomes even more important because you’re working with their hard-earned money and they’re trusting you with their financial future. And, as you may have experienced first-hand a time or two, if a client is unhappy with your services, they can easily find someone else.
Below, we’ll discuss ways that financial advisors can overcome common shortfalls in customer service to deliver a stellar client service experience.
Empower Your Clients Through Education
Wealth management can be a complex topic. Unless they’ve specifically studied within the financial industry, chances are your clients may struggle with financial literacy. This is especially true for more complex areas like tax planning or investing. Taking time to educate your clients on all the options available to them, and why you’re advising them the way that you are, can go a long way in not only cementing their trust in you, but also in helping them feel more empowered to make the right choices for themselves. Commit to providing useful content that’s easily digestible, and not just when a client asks for it. Get in the habit of sharing educational resources on your website, in your email newsletters, and on social media.
Schedule Frequent Check-Ins with Your Clients
A brief check-in with each client at the end of each year is not enough in today’s relationship-heavy financial advice industry. There’s so much that can change in a person’s life in the span of 12 months that if you want to be sure you’re providing them the best financial advising service possible, you need to be touching base more frequently. Sit down with your clients and come up with a schedule that works for both of you, with check-in points scheduled throughout the year.
When you do sit down together, make sure the conversation isn’t impersonal and only based on numbers. And, don’t do all the talking. Lead the conversation with thoughtful, client-focused questions rather than immediately jumping to outlining performance or strategies. This will help to personalize the experience for each client.
Be Transparent About Your Fees
No matter which type of fee structure you use, be fully open and transparent when talking with your clients and prospects about how you get paid. You’ll want to work within a pricing model that accurately reflects your clients’ usage patterns, which may mean leaving the one-size-fits-all approach behind in favor of a differentiation service that better serves the diversity of your clients’ needs.
Be Intentional with Your Communications
With the internet as saturated with information as it is, there’s a lot of spam and other content offering free financial advice – you don’t want to join the masses. The last thing your clients want is to feel as if they’re being spammed by their financial advisor. Make sure that every email or contact you have with your client is personalized, relevant, comprehensible, and actionable. Communicate with intention. Additionally, try to reach out on a personal and professional level to share updates or educational content any time something happens that impacts their finances, such as a dip in the market. Knowing you’re paying attention and staying engaged with them will help reassure your clients that they can depend on you.
Take a Proactive Approach to Your Planning
When it comes to your clients’ financial planning and how you communicate with them about it, focus on a process-driven, proactive approach. The more you seem to be reacting to changes in your clients’ needs, the more opportunity there will be for your clients to doubt you. Get checklists in place that will help you track where your clients are and help handle any issues as soon as they arise. Be proactive about sharing opportunities and information.
Practice Holistic Financial Planning
When advisors focus simply on investments or the products they sell, rather than taking a holistic approach to financial planning, they end up missing what matters most to their clients. By practicing holistic planning, you’ll be able to meet your clients where they are with a more personalized and comprehensive wealth management strategy that works toward helping them achieve all their goals, not just those related to their investment portfolios.
Be Smart with Your Technology
We’re living in the digital age and no business owner can afford to ignore technological advances in their industries. Now, it’s more crucial than ever that you utilize a client onboarding process that’s streamlined and easy to navigate. That means giving clients the option to submit any necessary documents through platforms such as DocuSign or something similar. Additionally, you’ll want to be able to offer them the convenience of virtual meetings on Zoom or other platforms. Being open to updating your processes and platforms also means leaving behind outdated tools such as automated retirement calculators and instead taking up a more realistic and personalized approach to reviewing a client’s current and future financial obligations.
Center Your Clients’ Best Interests in Everything You Do
One of the easiest ways for a business to fail in terms of customer satisfaction is by acting in a way that’s contrary to the best interests of those they serve. In a field as personal as financial advising, this becomes even more problematic. As a financial advisor, honoring your responsibilities and obligations to your clients is crucial. Without that, a client has no reason to trust you or continue paying you for your services.
Concluding Thoughts on Improving Financial Advisor Customer Service
At the end of the day, your clients are looking for someone they can trust to help them grow and manage their money. Much of customer service comes down to making the effort to get to know your clients and genuinely caring about their well-being and their futures. That requires you to practice open and clear communication, take steps to improve their financial literacy, and be sure that you’re making the process as smooth and accessible as possible.
At TriCapital, we understand that offering your clients personalized service requires a lot of time and energy. We’re here to help you handle the administrative side of financial advising so that you can devote that time and energy to your clients without feeling as if you’re burning the candle at both ends. If you’d like to start a conversation to learn more about becoming a TriCapital Advisor, contact us today.